2 bouncers charged in Conch House brawl
Viral video shows bouncers punching, kicking patrons during fight
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Two of four bouncers who were under investigation after a massive brawl broke out at the Conch House Restaurant and Bar during a Reggae Sunday event on Memorial Day weekend last year have been charged.
Police said several customers were hospitalized after the fight with serious injuries. After watching the videos of the brawl and talking to victims, police identified four suspects and recommended that simple battery charges be filed against them by the State Attorney’s Office.
Those bouncers were Ramel Dixon of Jacksonville; Adam Frez of St. Augustine; Michael McClendon of Atlantic Beach and Chris Rivera Hernandez of Jacksonville.
Frez was eventually charged with three misdemeanor counts of battery, and McClendon was charged with one count of misdemeanor battery. Neither was arrested.
They were given citations and ordered to appear in court last Thursday. Neither showed up.
Charges are still pending against Dixon and Hernandez.
Police said when they recommended the charges last year that they had five victims on whose stories the charges were based.
According to the documents, Rivera Hernandez took down Bruno Abreu, causing him to hit his head on the dock, then kicked and punched Abreu. Dixon is charged with kneeing victim Sean Voss in the face.
Investigators said Frez punched two victims, Dennis Justice and Russel Rogatenko. The documents say McClendon also kicked Justice while he was unconscious.
“Fortunately, patience was a virtue in this case. Like it always is at the Conch House, there were a lot of people that enjoyed that Sunday afternoon over there. It just took time to run it all down and get the statements we needed, and the victims and witnesses lined up so that we can do our job,” St. Augustine Police Department spokesman Mark Samson said last year.
The police department wouldn't identify which bouncers in the videos are the ones who would be charged.
After a short hiatus during the investigation, the Conch House brought back its Reggae Sunday event, but with changes to improve safety for patrons.
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